Co-op retains top industry award at fete

From left: KBA CEO Habil Olaka, Co-op Bank Strategy Head Veronica Njore and UN Global Compact Network Kenya Chair Martin Ochieng. [File, Standard]

Co-operative Bank has retained the overall title in the 2021 Sustainable Finance Initiative Catalyst Awards convened by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA).

In addition to scooping the overall title, Co-op Bank also won in specific award categories, including being named as the most innovative in sustainable finance and the best in financing commercial clients.

This was on the back of efforts to build a sustainability strategy that enables people, businesses and society to grow in the long term.

“Sustainability is fully integrated into our business model that stands on the three pillars of economic sustainability, Social sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki.

The KBA Catalysts Awards recognise banks that demonstrate exceptional performance in sustainable finance, which has a direct positive impact on the financial sector, the economy, the environment and society at large.

Equity Bank of Kenya was second, while Kenya Women Finance Trust Bank came third.

The selection exercise took three and a half months, with 43 entries submitted by 16 financial institutions.

This is the third time in five years that Co-op Bank has emerged victorious in the sustainable finance awards, having won the overall title again in 2017 and in 2019. The awards were not held in 2020 following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest award adds to other recent recognition Co-op Bank has received for its sustainability efforts.

The bank was named the best bank in sustainable finance in Kenya at the 2019 Energy Management Awards hosted by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

It was also named the overall winner in the Environmental Sustainability Report at the 2019 East African Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards.

Businesses were appraised on whether they have covered the essential indicators, including the impact on the GDP, the growth of the business, job creation and support of minority groups such as women and the youth.